With Monday marking the first day of Winter, Florida Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis offered Floridians fire safety precautions to take when families use their space heaters, wood-burning stoves and fireplaces.
According to the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA), heating equipment is the leading cause of fires in U.S. homes and nearly half of all home heating fires occur in December, January and February.
“As temperatures begin to drop now and in the upcoming months, Floridians must use fire safety precautions when using space heaters, wood-burning stoves and fireplaces. By following a few simple heating safety tips and precautions, you can avoid accidents and keep your family safe and warm during the winter months,” Patronis said on Monday.
Patronis and his office offered the following Winter Heating Fire Safety Tips:
- Keep objects away from heaters and fireplaces. Keep flammable objects at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable space heater. Have a three-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.
- Keep fireplaces and chimneys clean. Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
- Never leave a fire unattended. Remember to extinguish fireplaces and turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
- Do not use your oven to heat your home. Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to your local codes and manufacturer’s instructions.
- Use Carbon Monoxide detectors. Since carbon monoxide can be produced by a number of fuel-burning devices, it’s important to have carbon monoxide alarms on every level of your home. This will ensure every person in the home can hear and be alerted to the emergency.